Here we will thoroughly explain what tactical watches for men are and how to choose the best one for your needs. You can easily distinguish tactical watches from other kind of watches.
They are wrist watches specifically designed to withstand hard environment impact, work in severe conditions, be robust and reliable in all situations. Such timepieces will be the best fit for extreme sports enthusiasts and military / security forces.
You can assume that there can never be a “perfect” thing (and tactical watch as well) because all people consider different qualities of watch to be important.
The purpose of this article is to list most suitable tactical watches that a man can need, compare them by specifications and price, give quick overview and advise you the best choice.
- table (cheap)
- table (middle)
- table (top)
- Top 3 men’s tactical watches
- Buying guide – what to look for in tactical watches
- Toughness / Scratch Resistance
- Water / Pressure Resistance
- Analog Watch?
- Environmental Functions
- Timing Functions
- Physical Characteristics
Comparison Of Top Men’s Tactical Watches
In this section we gathered best choices in 3 segments (divided by price range) and compared them by their most important specifications details as well as price. Check yourself, this table alone can shed a lot of light on the choosing the right option for you.
Top 5 Tactical Watches For Men
Top 5 tactical watches:
This is one of the best options for the outdoor fan, the Suunto X-Lander provides a precise altimeter, a comprehensive barometer, an accurate digital compass, and a wide selection of different functions for sport-related usage, all that is in one elegant offer. Whatever your trip is – mountaineering, bike riding, skiing, hiking – you will require correct, real-time details about the environment to have a successful journey.
The X-Lander helps by not just giving important information, but also monitoring your activities and enabling you to make reasonable decisions at important moments. On top of that, this model is easy to use and well built, it has a non-allergenic light weight aluminum case, a carbon back, a heavy duty mineral crystal window, and a waterproof fabric strap.
Along with the wide range of outdoor features, the X-Lander also shows normal time, using such additions as 3 daily alarms, a calendar set for up to 2089, a stopwatch with split-time management, and a countdown timer. Additional attributes are a resilient negative LCD display, a easy-to-change battery, and waterproof to 30 meters. This great model has 2 year warranty.
- Storm alarm
- Sunrise and sunset data
- No world time
The tactical field Tactix Bravo is a highly precise GPS navigator with ABC wristwatch that has a lot of functions for training, exploring and everything else. To start with, it has an 3-axis compass and tracker with a thousand waypoints, 10,000 track points and TracBack functionality, altimeter and barometer. It is 50 meters water resistant, non-reflective flat black. It has a green LED light that will leave your night vision intact.
Compass, Barometer and Altimeter
This model is geared up with ABC sensing units to provide appropriate real-time info. The integrated altimeter gives elevation data to precisely keep track of your position’s height changes, the barometer can possibly be used to make some weather forecast by displaying short-term patterns in atmospheric pressure. The 3-axis digital compass helps to keep your azimuth regardless of how fast you change your position.
Garmin Tactix automatically calibrates its ABC indicators with the help of its GPS and auto adjusts the time relying on current location.
Designed to Withstand Tough Conditions
Thу watch combines a solid case to sustain shocks with a mineral crystal lens to defend against scratching. It is equipped with a sizable LCD display, a green LED and a sturdy wristband. It’s battery is enough for 50 hours of GPS usage and approximately 5 weeks in regular mode.
Not just a Regular Watch
Garmin Tactix has sun/moon details and a calendar for hunting and fishing along with standard watch features like alarms, tones, silent alerts, a timer, stop-watch and world time with the option to show numerous times zones simultaneously.
- Moon/Sun info
- Tide, hunting calendar
- Need to recharge battery soon (50 hours) when in GPS mode
The Isobrite Chronograph T100 tritium is a light polycarbonate wristwatch that is one of the best tactical models that could be found. IT has a Swiss Made Quartz movement. It’s window is made of sapphire crystal that makes it an anti-reflective and resistible to scratches.
Unidirectional bezel has tritium illuminated markers. Water resistance is up to 200 meters.T100 bright tritium tubes.
Here is one of recent reviews from customer:
I bought this model due to the Tritium tubes that are fairly bright mainly in absolute darkness and also they stay bright during whole night. The the current price one could not get better night time luminocity and resolution for reading the time. At the very beginning I would not buy such a watch big. Nevertheless its dimensions are not troublesome. It is fairly light-weight for the current size and that is very nice. The watch includes two wristbands: rubber, on the watch, and a substitute nylon wristband for people who don’t like rubber material. I would encourage you to buy this model and I had tried it under different circumstances. I can surely tell that it will be an outstanding quality watch.
- Tritium markers
- Sapphire Crystal
- Polycarbon Case
- Didn’t find
Buying Guide – What To Look For:
Toughness / Scratch Resistance
A robust and reliable tactical watch will easily withstand many years of hard shocks and rubs or weather harmful impact and still will remain in good condition and will preserve all its functions. In addition, no scratches should appear on the crystal – otherwise it will be hard to use it. Scratches also can worsen overall look of the watch. For that reason you have to pay attention to which materials your potential watch is made of. Good reputation of the brand also can be the key.
Speaking of the materials.
Crystal: You need to ensure that contemporary watches should have Sapphire crystal (also known as Corundum). Sapphire is nearly the most scratch-resistant mineral in our world. It’s hardness is the key to long-term mechanical resistance of the watches’ crystal. This material is not overly expensive.
Case: Case durable materials come in wide variety. You can be well satisfied with high grade stainless steel. Otherwise if you don’t like it – go for ceramic or polymer-plastic which are also frequently used my many famous manufacturers.
Assembling. You can be sure that quality of assembling is also important – it doesn’t matter how hard and robust materials are if the watch is poorly assembled. To make sure that quality of timepiece’s assembling is very good you need to make sure that a test under extreme conditions was carried out. Another way to be sure that you won’t miss is buying from famous brand that takes care of its reputation and people’s trust.
Accuracy: Digital All The Way
Accuracy is important when we go tactical. Especially when you use your watch to coordinate yourself and other people. Long trips or missions require your watch to be extra accurate to free you from thinking about frequent re-adjustment, which can be necessary in mechanical watches.
Mechanical watches can be cute and look appealing, but their miserable drawback is that they are much less accurate than digital ones (or quartz watches). Internationally accepted standard of accuracy for mechanical watches is drift of not more than 6 sec a day. That is much more than allowance for quartz watches (0.07 sec a day). Mechanical watches are also susceptible to weather and physical impacts.
Luminescent Hands / Digits (100% of the time)
Military operations and active outdoor activity require you to be ready 24 hours a day. You need to be able to check all the info that your watch provide very fast, without necessity to use the other hand to use the watches’ lighting. You might be doing something that requires full control (skiing, rappelling, fishing, holding a wheel, a bow or a gun) – all you want to do is tilt your hand and see all the info – your watch should make it easy. Constant luminescent glow is all you need to make that happen.
Water / Pressure Resistance
You need at least 10ATM. ATM means atmospheres. It’s pressure units that correspond to the level of pressure a watch can endure. For example, a 3ATM watch can withstand a pressure under 30 meters of water (around100 feet). Yet, keep in mind that ATM is not a depth measure.
You can face 3 ATM pressure even when taking a shower. Actually, the International Organization for Standardization advises not to use less than 5 ATM watch for snorkeling, it might simply not withstand it.
So, you better need to choose watch with at least 10 ATM resistance, to free yourself from worries that watch will deteriorate when you expose it to the water.
Analog Watch. Can it be better in some cases?
Some people find classic analog look to be appealing. But besides the appearance, analog watches lack precision and many other handy functions that digital watches have.
Yet, there is one useful feature that mechanical watches have – the look of their hands rotating around the dial and passing the indexes provides you with familiar sense of time so that you not only understand time – you feel it.
Anti-reflective PVD Coating
Anti-reflective coating can be important if you don’t want your watch to flash round. There are two options: zero metallic parts or all metallic parts to be coated to minimize and prevent any reflectance.
PVD is a contemporary technology that is used in coating. The resulting coating is very hard to scratch off and is very resistaте to the environment. The technology also can be used with any coating material which brings in wide variety of material choice.
Environmental Functions (Planning, Navigation, decision support, ABC)
- Electronic Compass – Much more precise readings in comparison to an analog one
- Compass 3D mode (similar to more costly Suunto watches).
- Barometric Monitoring – Possibly will be useful when sniping.
- Altimeter – Efficient for monitoring your height.
- Button to wwap from barometric to altimeter and back.
- Storm Alert – A quick reduction atmospheric pressure can give you a weather alert.
- Temperature sensor.
- Moon Phase – Can be required periodically in a special operations context.
- Tide phase prediction – Can be required in a special operations context.
Timing Functions (besides basic time, alarm and stopwatch functions)
- 24 Hour time format – Conventional tactical style watches
- Countdown timers – can be useful in a number of situations
- Selectable Flashing Alarm mode – For tactical use when you don’t want sudden sound alarm
- World times – Handy for people that frequently change times zones
- Sunrise/ Sunset Definitely vital to know in tactical situations
- Quick Global silent setting – This feature would be super useful
Physical Characteristics (Durability, Hardness, Reliability, Stealth)
- Reverse/ Inverse stealth LCD – Black background with light digits.
- Red backlight (not blue one) – Red light os more favorable for human night vision ability
- Titanium / Carbon case – Lightweight cases with high durability are the key for good tactical watch.
- Low Temperature emdurance – For wider geographic and environment use
- 100M (or more) water resistance – For underwater activity or operations, such as spearfishing or navy usage.
- Large Depressed buttons, textured surface – To minimize risk of getting trapped in webbing straps
- Solar Powered (of fast changing) battery – For additional reliability when you’re limited in options
- Depth Meter – effective for underwater activities
- Bezel with cardinal compass Effective when you just have to keep on track
- Large form factor Watch – Large face tactical watches
Overall it will be safe to say that there is no absolute best choice tactical watches for all men. Every person will find his own best one. That is why our comparison chart at the beginning of the guide is so important to make a better decision.